The authorised biography of the great naturalist and conservationist Gerald Durrell, who died aged seventy in January 1995 in Jersey, where he founded the zoo he'd dreamed of as a small boy and pioneered the captive breeding of animals for conservation.
Gerald Durrell was a world-famous naturalist and popular author who wrote, in all, some thirty-seven immensely readable yarns, including the bestselling ‘My Family and Other Animals'. His other books include ‘Birds, Beasts and Relatives', ‘The Bafut Beagles' and ‘A Zoo in My Luggage'.
Above all, he paved the way in print for the popular presentation of the natural world on television and presented twelve series himself – the early ones, of his own expeditions. Sir David Attenborough has said: ‘He was responsible for changing people's attitudes to zoology and changing their agenda. He showed them small animals could be as interesting as apes and elephants…He was a pioneer with a marvellous sense of humour.'
His brother was the famous writer Lawrence Durrell.
A biography of this size, even of such a popular figure as conservationist and zoologist Durrell, requires considerable justification, and this book perhaps does not entirely succeed in presenting him as 'one of the great figures of the age', as the blurb puts it. It tells very fully the story of his growing interest in the world of animals, of his life as writer and television pundit, and as a pioneer of modern zoos. The history of his often difficult personal life, his melancholia and his relationship with his brother, Lawrence, have also been thoroughly researched. Although over-long, this book will appeal strongly to those who remember Durrell or share his love of animals. (Kirkus UK)